100 lb. Club - Freezing Veggies
09-19-2007, 06:39 PM
I have a question about freezing produce.
If I want to freeze some veggies from the Farmer's Market, is it best to freeze things raw, or cooked? Whole, or chopped?
In the past I have chopped up raw green peppers and froze them in ziplock sandwich baggies, but after awhile they got all full of ice crystals. Is there some way to prevent this? Do you freeze them in some special kind of bag? Is one brand better than another?
I am thinking of freezing peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, blueberries, peaches... any suggestions??
EIGHTEEN pounds gone!
I freeze lots of things!
Blueberries - lay out on trays and freeze, then bag when frozen. I've never done peaches, but apples I cut into slices and tossed with some lemon to keep them from turning brown before I froze them. They'll be good in muffins or oatmeal or something. I'd imagine peaches would work the same way.
Most veggies need to be blanched before freezing (put in boiling water for a few minutes than into ice water. Length of time depends on the vegetable). Be sure to use actual freezer bags and make sure all of the air is out. Zucchini you can grate and than bag up in recipe-sized portions. Because it has such a high water content, it needs to be used in recipes (like zucchini bread or in spaghetti sauce) rather than as the main item in a recipe. The same is true of any high water content veggie. I even froze all of my extra parsley. It's in a jar in the fridge. It works just great to through it into soup or sauce or something like that!
State extension agencies usually offer a wealth of info for stuff like this!
09-19-2007, 06:50 PM
I chop up my peppers and onions and freeze them, too. I've noticed the ice crystals but they never bothered me or affected the cooking at all. I've heard that certain containers prevent things like ice and freezer burn. I think there are "freezer bags" that you can buy. I also date things I freeze and try to use them within the suggested time frame (I'm sure you can find this information somewhere online).
I freeze blueberries whole, before washing, because they're not wet and won't clump together.
I'm not sure on zucchini.
I freeze tomatoes by blanching them, peeling the skin, taking out the part where the stem attached, and squishing them into a container.
traci in training
09-19-2007, 06:50 PM
Peppers I chop and freeze on a cookie sheet so they're not stuck together, then put in a freezer bag. They will get ice crystals, but they cook up okay. Zucchini I chop or shred and freeze in recipe-size chunks. Like two cups for bread? Tomatoes I dunk in boiling water to skin then zip them through the food processor and dump them in freezer bags. My family doesn't like them "chunky" in chili or sauces, so processing them before freezing means I can throw them in the pot without thawing to chop. I don't freeze onions. Blueberries I do like peppers - freeze them flat on waxed paper and then dump them in a bag. Peaches I peel and slice, sprinkle on a little fruit fresh, then freeze in bags.
Hope this helps.
09-19-2007, 06:50 PM
I generally freeze peppers the way you do so I can throw them into soups and stews and onto pizzas. I don't know how to prevent the ice, unfortunately. Zucchinni, I usually saute with olive oil and garlic and freeze it in a container. You can still mix it into casseroles or soups, or just eat it as is. Tomatoes, I dip into boiling water to loosen the skins, peel them, then put them onto a cookie sheet whole. Once frozen I put them into a bag so I can pull them out individually. They are good in casseroles, soups, stews, or to make sauce with. Sometimes I make the sauce first and then freeze it. Blueberries I do the same way (without peeling of course) and I use them for smoothies or in my oatmeal mostly. Peaches I used to freeze in a sugar syrup. This year I thought I'd try peeling and slicing, then freezing on the cookie sheet/ziploc. I freeze instead of canning, never did learn how to can! Freezing seems much easier.
09-19-2007, 06:58 PM
Wow, look at that 4 answers posted at the same time, and basically the same answer! They reminded me, I do grate the zucchini sometimes too and freeze it.
thanks for asking the question, now I have some new ideas for the freezer.
09-19-2007, 06:59 PM
"Flash Freezing" is the best method for many things.
It is simple: you dip the prepared food in water, lay out on a cookie sheet and then put in the freezer immediately. This works for most anything!
09-20-2007, 03:13 AM
I use my foodsaver to avoid the ice crystals. I can put it on the "wet" setting so it doesn't smash all of the juice out of veggies before I freeze them.